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Green Team

By Claire D.


After an amazing Earth Day (turned Earth week), Radar wanted to highlight the comings and goings of one of our amazing environmental activism clubs, Green Team. Green Team is an integral part of campus life, and continues working to make events, as well as our mindsets, more climate-friendly. 


Green Team gives the College Prep community lots of opportunities to learn more about climate change, environmental issues, and how you can do your part to better our world. Among these opportunities are Green Team lunch meetings, during which they host activities that range from watching inspirational videos about people taking action to discussing initiatives to further the reach of their message and education.

Among these initiatives is an ongoing email series, Fridays for Future. Every Friday, a Green Team leader shares an email on behalf of the Green Team with our school community. These emails include alarming statistics, helpful advice, and news from around the world talking about climate and social justice, as well as including links in some messages to aid students who want to research further. These emails are always fascinating, and help remind viewers to keep the climate and worldwide issues in mind; Fridays for Future has been a great tradition for the last couple of months that I hope will continue in the future. 

Other than initiatives like Fridays for Future, Green Team has also hosted common classrooms to directly engage our community. The most recent event they hosted was going to the Re-Up Refill shop, where students can bring reusable containers and shop sustainably at a store right down on College, bringing back our school’s focus on conscious consumerism. 


EARTH DAY


For Earth day, Green Team gave it their all to bring us a week full of both fun and Earth awareness! To start off the week, Green Team led a Green Commute Monday. The hope was to encourage our student body to take a more environmentally friendly commute, encouraging us to participate with donut holes, pins, and sticker prizes. On Tuesday, the Green Team hosted and supplied a bake sale for a local environmental organization, with incredibly tasty goodies for a great cause. On Wednesday, the Green Team delighted our taste buds yet again with free lemonade in the courtyard, if you brought a reusable bottle or container to hold it, for plastic impact and conscious consumerism awareness. On Friday during lunch, the Green Team hosted a postcard writing workshop encouraging people to vote, working with our school body to make a difference in our whole community. On Friday, as I mentioned above, was the conscious consumerism common classroom to the Re-Up Reuse store!


Thank you Green Team for an amazing, educational, and delicious Earth Week!


Finally, we reached out to one Green Team leader, Jinane Ejjed, to answer some questions based on her personal experiences and opinions.


  1. How do you think College Prep students could become better climate change activists?


“Being aware of the climate is being aware of the consumer culture we actively uphold as citizens of the second-biggest emitter in the world. I think College Prep students' general consensus on climate change takes into consideration the external and internal factors that contribute to it, which includes the countries, institutions, and practices we associate ourselves with. And something I believe I have a harder time with is actually attributing those considerations to myself. A lot of the time we look at the older generations and criticize, but that generation will very soon get replaced by our generation (and they will never have to face what we will). We don't quite comprehend that we need to start criticizing our practices and priorities now, lest we find the generations younger than us criticizing us in power – and we don't have the time to repeat history.”


  1. What do you think College Prep as an institution could do better?


“Divest from fossil fuels. Obviously, if you look at 2011, almost every foundation and academic endowment invested in fossil fuels, but today large universities have divested from fossil fuels. Brown, NYU, Case Western Reserve, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Georgetown, Marquette Princeton... the list goes on. We haven't seen such a move from high schools yet, but who's to say College Prep cannot start? If you want to look at it on a practical, financial side, which is understandably the most valued side to consider: as the world expends fossil fuels, with gas and coal supplies being used every day (in 2022, on average, the U.S. consumed an average of about 20 million barrels of petroleum per day), Stanford estimates that in 2052, oil and gas will run out. By investing in industries that will cease to successfully generate any capital, Forbes writes that such investments in "exploitable reserves become worthless, stranded assets." So divesting avoids major losses, and instead grants academic institutions the opportunity to reinvest in more promising industries. And on the dire, moral side: revoking the social license of the fossil fuel industry at its core is essential to saving the planet.”


  1. What do you use to research climate change? How do you recommend others should research/learn more about environmental issues?


“Since most of the research is already done that has determined the nature of our current climate, the question becomes how that research is communicated, and do we read it. Personally, I read IPCC reports which are quite dense, but if you get over the academic and technical jargon, they are actually very clear. I also read the news, and would definitely recommend the Reuter's Sustainable Finance newsletter. But generally, I think researching environmental issues should be pretty easy since climate news is easy to find nowadays, even the New York Times decided to dedicate a subsection dedicated to climate news, under their larger section regarding Science issues. But if you want pure in-depth reporting on climate, Yale Climate Connections is a great source.”


Thank you so much for your responses, Jinane! Your advice and opinions are wonderful, and help us all know you and your club a little better.


And thank you Green Team for everything you’re doing to better our school and community!


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